All of my friends know where I stand on diet: it is, without a doubt, a minimum of 80% of the physique battle. I don’t care what your max bench is; I don’t care how many walking lunges you can do with an Olympic bar on your shoulders; I don’t care how many sprints you do. If you do not keep your diet tight, you will not reap the rewards of your physical labor. It’s a tough pill to swallow for a lot of people, but it’s the honest truth.
When I was young, I ate pretty healthy. As the daughter of a nutritionist, I never ate garbage: no Oreo cookies in the pantry, no ice cream in the freezer, and we should have owned a damn cow to save money on all the milk we drank. I never felt deprived, because I never felt like I was missing out on anything. I always had a nice physique in high school – always tight, always playing some sort of sport, never really having to work that hard. Ah, youth. Once in college, I started enjoying pizza and beer a bit more (a lot) and I watched my physique go down to the toilet. But how was this possible? Four, five, six years went by and I eventually found myself at age 25, weighing 140lbs, wearing a size 10, and looking like a laundry bag full of shoes. I was at a total loss: weight was never something I had to think about growing up, and I just figured I had good genes and it would continue that way for the rest of my life. Pfffft!
I decided to take matters into my own hands, and I cut out booze, fried food, and pizza. Without making ANY adjustments to my workout routine, I lost 10lbs in 1 month. I was down to a size 8, and my weight kept falling. I started lifting more, which accelerated my physique transformation; before I knew it, I was down to 130lbs, wearing a size 4, and looking like a completely different woman. I looked like an athlete: I had ab definition, I had lean legs, and I had a booty worthy of the finest Apple Bottom jeans. The addition of weights to my routine definitely helped in the sense that it sped up my fat loss, but had I not added them, I would have continued to lose weight, JUST by amending my diet. That was the first time where the light bulb went on in my little brain.
The second light went on when I started competing. I eat clean year-round: both in my off-season and when I’m prepping for a show. But in an off-season, I don’t walk around looking stage-ready: I am never big, but I’m also not cut all the time. I usually stay about 10lbs over stage weight. I eat a lot of protein, and a pretty hefty amount of carbs. As a show approaches, I eliminate cheats and gradually cut back on overall calories. The result? A streamlined physique without the addition of mind-numbing cardio. I am amazed each year at what happens to my body when I tighten up the diet, EVEN when eating clean all the time (well, ok, there are cheat days involved!)
You don’t have to eat like a figure competitor to look great (and, really, I wish rinsed tuna upon nobody). But you DO need to stay away from crap: cookies, brownies, chips, fried food, Sweet 16s, Chik-Fil-A shakes, cheesecake, pizza, soda………..the dinner plate is far mightier than the weight plate. Now go have some spinach.
Beth is an NPC
figure competitor and has been competing for 3 years. When she’s not rocking the stage in her stiletto heels, she’s either at work as Project Manager at a Pharmaceutical company in Durham, NC
or she’s in the gym training clients or teaching spin classes. In her very minimal free time, Beth likes to sleep, eat, play with her dog, and spend time with her boyfriend and friends (who also like to sleep and eat).